The following incentives would be available under the scheme:
Capital Investment Incentive at the rate of 30% in Zone A and 50% in Zone B on investment made in Plant & Machinery (in manufacturing) or construction of building and other durable physical assets(in service sector) is available.
Capital Interest subvention: At the annual rate of 6% for maximum 7 years on loan amount up to Rs. 500 crore for investment in plant and machinery (in manufacturing) or construction of building and all other durable physical assets(in service sector).
GST Linked Incentive: 300% of the eligible value of actual investment made in plant and machinery (in manufacturing) or construction in building and all other durable physical assets(in service sector) for 10 years. The amount of incentive in a financial year will not exceed one-tenth of the total eligible amount of incentive.
Working Capital Interest Incentive: All existing units at the annual rate of 5% for maximum 5 years. Maximum limit of incentive is Rs 1 crore.
Key Features of the Scheme:
Scheme is made attractive for both smaller and larger units. Smaller units with an investment in plant & machinery upto Rs. 50 crore will get a capital incentive upto Rs. 7.5 crore and get capital interest subvention at the rate of 6% for maximum 7 years
Hence Statement 1 is correct: The scheme aims to take industrial development to the block level in UT of J&K, which is first time in any Industrial Incentive Scheme of the Government of India.
Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is initiating the ambitious Project of Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS) with potential airline operators.
Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is initiating the process of commencing operations of the Seaplane services, on the select routes, under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through prospective airline operators.
The project execution and implementation would be through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL), which is under the Ministry's administrative control.
Several destinations are envisaged for seaplane operations. The proposed Origin-Destination pairs under Hub and Spoke model include Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep, Guwahati Riverfront & Umranso Reservoir in Assam, Yamuna Riverfront / Delhi (as Hub) to Ayodhaya etc.
One such Seaplane Service is already in operation between Kevadia and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on 31st October 2020.
To run more such services in the coastal areas or proximity to water bodies, SDCL is keen to associate with the interested scheduled / non-scheduled airline operators.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released the First Advance Estimates (FAE) for the current financial year. The real GDP at 2011-12 prices in 2020-21 has been estimated to contract by 7.7 per cent and nominal GDP at current prices by 4.2 per cent. As per quarterly estimates of NSO, real GDP contracted by 15.7 percent in first half of 2020-21.
On the demand side, real GDP in 2020-21 has been supported by an estimated increase in Government Consumption Expenditure by 5.8 percent.
On the supply side, agriculture is estimated to register a positive growth of 3.4 percent against 4.0 percent as per the PE of 2019-20.
In the manufacturing sector, electricity sector is estimated to register a positive growth of 2.7 percent.
The pandemic and associated public health measures have adversely affected the contact-sensitive services sector where trade, hotels, transport & communication are estimated to contract by 21.4 percent in FY:2020-21.
For any financial year, the MoSPI provides regular estimates of GDP. The first such instance is through the FAE. The FAE for any particular financial year is typically presented on January 7th.
Their significance lies in the fact that they are the GDP estimates that the Union Finance Ministry uses to decide its Budget allocations.
The FAE will be quickly updated as more information becomes available. On February 26th, MoSPI will come out with the Second Advance Estimates of GDP for the current year.
Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of the Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) India Forum-2021 is being organised by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
The NCAVES Project, funded by EU, has been jointly implemented by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD).
India is one of the five countries taking part in this project - the other countries being Brazil, China, South Africa and Mexico.
In India, the NCAVES project is being implemented by the MoSPI in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).
The project's participation has helped MOSPI commence the compilation of the Environment Accounts as per the UN-SEEA framework and release environmental accounts in its publication “EnviStats India” on an annual basis since 2018.
Under the NCAVES project, the India-EVL Tool has been developed, which is essentially a look-up tool giving a snapshot of the values of various ecosystem services in the country's different States, based on about 80 studies conducted across the country.
Indian Railway has started the New Year by achieving a landmark achievement by drastically enhancing the maximum speed to 130 kmph for 1,280 km length out of 1,612 Km in Golden Quadrilateral - Golden Diagonal (GQ-GD) route.
This covers the entire GQ-GD route over South Central Railway, except Vijayawada - Duvvada section, where signalling up-gradation work is in progress.
The enhanced speed limits could be achieved due to the systematic and planned strengthening of track & its infrastructure by removing bottlenecks in these sections on a fast pace.
This included heavier rails, 260 meters Long welded rail panels, and improvement of curves and gradients.
Already, the maximum speed limits in the High-Density Network (HDN) between Secunderabad – Kazipet (132 Kms distance) had been enhanced to 130 kmph.
The Ministry of Railways has approved a new iron-ore policy governing the allocation of rakes and transportation of iron-ore.
This new policy has been named as Iron-ore Policy 2021 and shall come into effect from February 10, 2021.
The provisions of the new policy will be updated in the rake allotment system module by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS).
Scrutiny of documentation by Railways has been removed.
Executive Director Rake Movement of Railway Board (EDRM) office, Kolkata which has been sanctioning programmes for movement of iron-ore traffic will have no regulatory role in the new policy.
Customers now desirous of moving their traffic under any priority will have to give (an) undertaking that they have procured, transported and utilized materials as per rules and regulations of Central and State Governments.
Higher priority will be given to the movement of iron-ore traffic for domestic manufacturing activity. Within the domestic movement of iron-ore traffic, priority preference will be given to steel, pig iron, sponge iron, pellet, or sinter plant owning customers having their own private sidings at both the loading as well as unloading ends.
The categorization of priority of movement of iron ore has now been based on the availability of railway infrastructure developed by the customer, for loading or unloading, and the nature of movement between various types of sidings with a view to maximize iron-ore movement by rail.
Old and new plants will be treated similarly as far as allotment and loading of rakes is concerned.
Iron ore is the second most important stream of traffic of Railways and along with steel accounts for nearly 17 per cent (53.81 million tonne of steel and 153.35 million tonne of iron ore) of total 1210 million tonne freight loading of Indian Railways in 2019-2020.
India has announced a National Hydrogen Mission. The proposal in the Budget will be followed up with a mission draft over the next couple of months.
And while proposed end-use sectors include steel and chemicals, the major industry that hydrogen has the potential of transforming is transportation — which contributes a third of all greenhouse gas emissions.
In October, Delhi became the first Indian city to operate buses running on hydrogen spiked compressed natural gas (H-CNG) in a six-month pilot project.
The buses will run on a new technology patented by Indian Oil Corp for producing H-CNG — 18 per cent hydrogen in CNG — directly from natural gas, without resorting to conventional blending.
IOC is also planning to set up a dedicated unit to produce hydrogen to run buses at its R&D centre in Faridabad.
As a supporting regulatory framework, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways late last year issued a notification proposing amendments to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, to include safety evaluation standards for hydrogen fuel cell-based vehicles.
Two more rovers — NASA's Perseverance and China's Tianwen-1 — are set to land on Mars on February 18 and in May 2021 respectively.
NASA's Perseverance Rover
The most sophisticated mission from an engineering standpoint, NASA's Perseverance Rover, is en route to Mars, and is set to land on Thursday at Jezero Crater, which was likely filled with water in the past.
Perseverance is NASA's 4th generation Mars Rover
The goal is to look for biosignatures in the dried up lake bed at Jezero Crater.
Tianwen-1, the first mission to Mars from China, successfully underwent orbital insertion on February 10. Tianwen-1 carries an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. China's approach for landing a rover is somewhat different. Unlike NASA rovers, Tianwen-1 will orbit Mars for a few months before attempting to land in May this year.
Prime Minister Modi handed over the indigenously developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Indian Army at a ceremony in Chennai. The army will get 118 units of the Main Battle Tank, indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by CVRDE and DRDO along with 15 academic institutions, eight labs and several MSMEs.
The Arjun Main Battle Tank project was initiated by DRDO in 1972 with the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) as its lead laboratory.
Mass production began in 1996 at the Indian Ordnance Factory’s production facility in Avadi, Tamil Nadu.
The Indian Army received the first batch of 16 tanks in 2004 and they were inducted as a squadron of the 43 Armoured Regiment. In 2009, the first Arjun regiment of the Indian Army had 45 tanks.
The Arjun tanks stand out for their ‘Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS)’ ammunition and 120-mm calibre rifled gun.
It also has a computer-controlled integrated fire control system with a stabilised sighting that works in all lighting conditions. The secondary weapons include a co-axial 7.62-mm machine gun for anti-personnel and a 12.7-mm machine gun for anti-aircraft and ground targets.
The Mk-1A version has 14 major upgrades on the earlier version. It is also supposed to have missile firing capability as per the design, but this feature will be added later as final testing of the capability is still on.
However, the biggest achievement with the latest version is 54.3 per cent indigenous content against the 41 per cent in the earlier model.
Global rating agency Moody’s projected India’s nominal growth at 17% for the coming fiscal, a mark up from the 14.3% earlier, based on the “pro-growth” budget, but highlighted the weak prospects of fiscal consolidation.
In order to recognize the sacrifice and services rendered by the Covid warriors who lost their lives fighting the pandemic, the Odisha government has decided to construct a Covid Warrior Memorial in Odisha. The Biju Patnaik Park in Bhubaneswar has been selected for this purpose.
Scientists have found a new Lead (Pb) free material which can efficiently convert waste heat to power our small home equipment and automobiles.
Most efficient thermoelectric materials developed by scientists so far use Lead (Pb) as a major constituent element, restricting their use for mass-market applications.
Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, an autonomous institution of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of having now identified a lead-free material called Cadmium (Cd) doped Silver Antimony Telluride (AgSbTe2).
This material can efficiently allow recovery of electricity fromwaste heat’ marking a paradigm shift in the thermoelectric puzzle.
This work is supported by the Swarna-Jayanti fellowship and project fund from the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and Department of Science & Technology (DST), India
Over the last few days, Trinamool Congress as well as BJP leaders across the West Bengal ahead of the Assembly polls, have been raising the ‘Khela hobe’ slogan.
The slogan was first used by Bangladesh’s Awami League MP Shamim Osman more than four years ago.
But it was popularised in West Bengal by Trinamool Congress president of Birbhum district, Anubrata Mondal, who at a local political event said, “Khela hobe. Bhoyonkor Khela hobe. Ei mati te Khela hobe.” (The game is on. It will be a dangerous game. But the game is on and this will be the playground.)
The slogan, through which leaders are challenging their opponents now, likens the political battlefield to a playground. It means this electoral battle has not been decided yet — there is a lot to fight for in these Assembly polls and only time will tell who has the last laugh.
With a view to create awareness among the consumers of fossil fuels, Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launched ‘SAKSHAM’, a month long campaign, highlighting the adverse health and environmental impacts of increasing carbon footprints.
‘SAKSHAM’s idea is to convince consumers to switch to cleaner fuels and bring in behavioral change to use fossil fuel intelligently.
The campaign will also spread awareness about 7 key drivers that Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently mentioned, saying that collectively these would help India move towards cleaner energy.
The key drivers include
moving towards a gas-based economy,
cleaner use of fossil fuels,
greater reliance on domestic sources to drive biofuels,
achieving renewable targets with the set deadlines,
increased use of electric vehicles to decarbonize mobility,
The Ministry of Science and Technology recently released new guidelines for the Geo-spatial sector in India, which deregulates existing protocol and liberalises the sector to a more competitive field.
Geospatial data is data about objects, events, or phenomena that have a location on the surface of the earth.
The location may be static in the short-term, like the location of a road, an earthquake event, malnutrition among children, or dynamic like a moving vehicle or pedestrian, the spread of an infectious disease.
Geospatial data combines location information, attribute information (the characteristics of the object, event, or phenomena concerned), and often also temporal information or the time at which the location and attributes exist.
Geo-spatial data usually involves information of public interest such as roads, localities, rail lines, water bodies, and public amenities.
The past decade has seen an increase in the use of geospatial data in daily life with various apps such as food delivery apps like Swiggy or Zomato, e-commerce like Amazon or even weather apps.
Expected impact of new guidelines:
By liberalising the system, the government will ensure more players in the field, the competitiveness of Indian companies in the global market, and more accurate data available to both the government to formulate plans and administer, but also for individual Indians.
Startups and businesses can now also use this data in setting up their concerns, especially in the sector of e-commerce or geospatial based apps – which in turn will increase employment in these sectors.
Indian companies will be able to develop indigenous apps, for example, an Indian version of google maps.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) may introduce new monsoon models this year to better forecast changes in rainfall.
Three different models could be tested this year. Two of them were dynamical models and one a statistical model.
The climate on any particular day is simulated on supercomputers and meteorologists observe the changing daily output in the former.
The other is the traditional statistical model that equates relationships of physical parameters, such as sea surface temperatures, snowfall, landmass temperature, etc, with the actual observed rainfall in the past.
The three models under consideration are:
12 global circulation models (dynamical) whose outputs would be combined into a single one;
a model that gauges rainfall based on the sea surface temperature in the tropics (developed by Professor Sumant Nigam, University of Maryland, U.S.) and
the statistical model based on climate variables observed during the pre-monsoon.
All of them are ‘ensembles’ meaning smaller models are combined to arrive at an average value.
The traditional statistical model would continue to be used this year.
The monsoon that concluded in 2020 was unique, in that with monsoon 2019, it was only the third time in a century that India saw back-to-back years of above normal rainfall.
In both years — and monsoon 2019 was a 25-year high — the IMD failed to forecast the magnitude of the excess and only indicated that the monsoon would be “above normal”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Sweden H.E. Stefan Löfven held a Virtual Summit where they discussed bilateral issues and other regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
Prime Minister Modi recalled his 2018 visit to Sweden for the first India-Nordic Summit and the India visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden in December 2019.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the implementation of the Joint Action Plan and Joint Innovation Partnership agreed during Prime Minister Modi's visit to Sweden in 2018.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed Sweden's decision to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
The leaders also noted the growing member-ship of the India-Sweden joint initiative – the Leadership Group on Indus-try Transition (LeadIT) that was launched during the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019 in New York.